Earth Hour to unite millions around the world to spotlight the link between the pandemic and nature loss
Singapore, 25 March 2021 – On Saturday, 27 March at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will unite individuals, businesses and leaders from all over the world to shine a spotlight on the health of the planet, raising awareness on the importance of nature and inspiring action for a brighter future for nature and people. With COVID-19 safety regulations continuing in several parts of the world, many countries will be celebrating Earth Hour online, mobilizing millions of people from across the globe to speak up for nature.
As the lights dim in homes and cities, Earth Hour will bring people together to put a virtual spotlight on our planet and the role people can play in global efforts for nature.
With mounting evidence establishing a close link between nature's destruction and rising incidences of infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19, Earth Hour will be an unmissable opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of nature, in a year when leaders will take key decisions on nature, climate change and sustainable development.
''Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall. And this is because of the way we live our lives and run our economies. Protecting nature is our moral responsibility but losing it also increases our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change, and threatens our food security,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
“We must stop taking nature for granted, respect its intrinsic value, and - importantly - value the crucial services it provides to our health, wellbeing and economy. We need to unite and take urgent action now to set nature on the path to recovery and secure a nature-positive world, while supporting climate action. By acting for nature, we can all create a healthier, fairer and more sustainable world.”
Renowned public figures, celebrities, youth organizations and businesses from across the globe will be supporting Earth Hour to draw attention to the nature and climate crises. Pledging his support for Earth Hour, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized in a video message that now is the time to be bold and ambitious, and show the world we are determined to protect the one home we all share. In recognition of the critical role young people will play in creating a more sustainable world, many global youth groups including Fridays For Future, AIESEC, United Nations Global Youth Biodiversity Network, Global Scouts, YMCA, and Global Youth Action Team will be participating in Earth Hour calling for a safer, healthier future for all.
John Kani, environmentalist and the star of acclaimed films such as Black Panther, Captain America and The Lion King, is lending his voice for a special video to be released on Earth Hour to raise awareness about the link between nature loss and human health. Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara and South Korean star Park Seo-Joon will also be sharing video messages on Earth Hour calling for reversing nature loss.
''From lush green forests to the shimmering deep blue oceans, the beauty of our one shared home, our Earth, is unparalleled. We rely on nature for everything - our food, our water, even our livelihoods. But we are losing our natural treasures faster than they can replenish themselves. Preventing nature loss is not just our moral duty, it is critical to our very existence. We urgently need to take action to prevent further degradation of our natural world, for securing our own future. Join me this Earth Hour when we collectively raise our voice for nature to secure a greener, healthier future for all, '' said John Kani, renowned actor.
Businesses and governments worldwide have a key role to play in building a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all. This Earth Hour, Business for Nature, a global coalition that brings together business and conservation organizations, will be calling on governments to urgently adopt policies for reversing nature loss by the end of the decade.
Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature, said: "COVID-19 has given us a stark warning of the risks, vulnerabilities and inequalities of our interconnected systems – and what’s at stake for everyone if we cannot mobilize action. Leading companies recognize they need to act now to both cut greenhouse gas emissions and reverse nature loss by 2030. Earth Hour is taking place during a critical year, when world leaders are due to agree an ambitious global agreement on nature. Let us use this symbolic moment to think about how we work together - across society, business and government - to change our course towards a nature-positive, net-zero and equitable future."
Many iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the Colosseum in Rome, Rova of Antananarivo in Madagascar, UAP Old Mutual Tower in Nairobi, Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, Taipei 101 and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore will be switching off their lights in a symbolic gesture of support on the night of Earth Hour.
This year is set to be another important moment for the Earth Hour movement, with more than 140 countries and territories coming together to highlight and invite action on the environmental issues most relevant to them.
- Uganda is partnering with the Scouts, social organizations and government agencies for Earth Hour to push for a total single-use plastic ban. They will also launch a “Keep It Green and Clean” campaign to organize a local clean-up and tree-planting drive.
- Over 40 countries will come together for the biggest Latin America Digital March for Earth Hour. The interactive platform allows participants to personalize their avatars and message to “speak up for nature” under three themes: biodiversity, plastic and climate change.
- Malaysia is organizing a 10km Virtual Run from 27 March to 15 April 2021, the proceeds of which will help to fund projects on nature, wildlife and forests. They are also inviting people to take a pledge to protect nature.
- With its campaign “Let Oceans Shine”, Hong Kong will spotlight the threats our oceans face from pollution, unsustainable fishing and unsustainable development.
- Singapore will launch a digital campaign to mobilize people for achieving net-zero emissions in Singapore by 2050. WWF-Singapore will invite individuals to set up their own net-zero plans with tangible climate actions to reduce their overall carbon footprint.
Everyone can make a difference in protecting nature and it starts right here, right now with Earth Hour 2021. Visit www.earthhour.org to know what is happening for Earth Hour in locations around the world.
Notes to editor
Many countries will celebrate Earth Hour virtually as COVID-19 safety regulations continue across the world.
Images of Earth Hour around the world will be uploaded in near real-time here.
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About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is WWF's flagship global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take tangible environmental action for over a decade. Historically, Earth Hour has focused on the climate crisis, but more recently, Earth Hour has strived to also bring the pressing issue of nature loss to the fore. The aim is to create an unstoppable movement for nature, as it did when the world came together to tackle climate change. The movement recognizes the role of individuals in creating solutions to the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges and harnesses the collective power of its millions of supporters to drive change.
Earth Hour is kindly supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety with funding from the International Climate Initiative (IKI), as a part of the project “Scaling up Biodiversity Communication”.
WWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit this page for the latest news and media resources; follow us on Twitter @WWF_media